VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol (Voice over IP, VoIP) is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Other terms commonly associated with VoIP solutions are IP telephony, Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service.
The term Internet telephony specifically refers to the provisioning of communications services (voice, fax, SMS, voice-messaging) over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The steps and principles involved in originating VoIP telephone calls are similar to traditional digital telephony and involve signaling, channel setup, digitization of the analog voice signals, and encoding.
Instead of being transmitted over a circuit-switched network, however, the digital information is packetized, and transmission occurs as IP packets over a packet-switched network. Such transmission entails careful considerations about resource management different from time-division multiplexing (TDM) networks.
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F.A.Q. about VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol
What are the benefits of VoIP?
VoIP technology can facilitate tasks and deliver services that might be cumbersome or costly to implement when using traditional PSTN:
- More than one phone call can be transmitted on the same broadband phone line. This way, VoIP system can facilitate the addition of telephone lines to businesses without the need for additional physical lines.
- Features that are usually charged extra by telecommunication companies, such as call forwarding, caller ID or automatic redialing, are simple with voice over internet technology.
- Unified Communications are secured with VoIP technology, as it allows integration with other services available on the internet such as video conversation, messaging, etc.
There are four main types of VoIP technology. Each option has varying levels of complexity which can impact ease of implementation and maintenance.
Integrated access is the VoIP service that most mimics the traditional phone line. With integrated access VoIP, businesses integrate VoIP software and existing, legacy phone systems. This approach lets the business keep its old number and equipment while also gaining access to advanced telecommunications features.
Session Initial Protocol (SIP) transmits voice and video information across a data network, letting VoIP users take advantage of shared lines and increase their communications flexibility. Because all data is sent over a network, businesses can use SIP trunks to replace traditional analog phone networks or use a VoIP gateway to integrate SIP trunking with legacy phone systems.
Hosted IP PBX
What most people envision when they think of VoIP, this VoIP solution sees a vendor host and operate the private branch exchange, offering unified communications solutions. The business connects to a hosted cloud-based PBX network via its IP network. Phone system hardware is maintained off-site by the hosted IP PBX vendor, and all responsibility for the hardware, software, maintenance, security and upgrades all falls on the hosted PBX provider.
Managed IP PBX
Similar to Hosted IP PBX, this version of the unified communication solution is outsourced to a third party that takes care of all management requirements, but instead of phone hardware being off-site, the equipment is housed on-premise by the business.
Understanding these different services of VoIP communication can help a business determine the system that best suits its needs. SIP Trunks, for instance, are more attractive to those who want to install their own technology and manage it themselves, while still connecting to VoIP features.
On the other hand, managed IP PBX is a good option for those who don’t have the resources to buy and operate their own VoIP systems. The Hosted IP PBX solution frees the business to select the VoIP management software that works for them and liberates them from the cost and administrative headache of maintaining both voice and data lines and the related carrier partnerships.